According to the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, 61 percent of people are afraid that their prescription might be filled incorrectly. If you are a part of the 61 percent of people who fear an incorrectly filled prescription, you should be aware that there are ways to reduce pharmaceutical errors. But your fear is not unwarranted as errors have occurred many times.
Do Pharmacists Make Too Many Errors?
The National Patient Safety Foundation pointed out that out of the 3 billion prescriptions, around 51.5 million will be linked to an error. Most of these errors are minor, but around 3.3 million will have a significant consequence.
The most common reason, according to the University of Connecticut, deals with the high volume of prescription orders. Another factor deals with the fact that some medications look alike, or are named similarly.
Should the errors made by your pharmacist stop you from filling your prescriptions? Absolutely not. In fact, a nationwide study showed that 68 percent of prescription errors were found by the patient themselves. As a patient, all you need to do is be aware of the most common errors, and help to prevent them.
Reduce Pharmaceutical Errors
Avoiding a long line is a good idea, since most mistakes occur when there are numerous prescription orders. In fact, the University of California-San Diego discovered that pharmaceutical errors increase by 25% during the first few days of the month. The increase is associated with the fact that many people receive their Social Security checks around this time.
A statewide study conducted in North Carolina found that half of the deaths associated with pharmaceutical errors could have been prevented with counseling. Counseling should be conducted between you and your pharmacist after you receive your prescription. You should expect your pharmacist to ask you the following three questions:
- What did your doctor say the prescribed drug was for?
- What was the dosage given to you by your doctor?
- How did your doctor say you were to administer this medication?
These questions will help your pharmacist in making sure you receive the right medication. These questions may also clarify any questions you have. Reducing your chances does not mean human errors will not happen; so just be vigilant. Keep notes of the medications you take, and the correct dosage. Also, make sure you carefully look at your medication. If you see changes in the pill form or color, this should prompt you to talk to your pharmacist immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.